For Immediate Release, Thursday October 4, 2007
Physician Assistants Celebrate National Physician Assistant Week
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – During the week of Oct. 6-12, physician assistants (PAs) around the United States, including the PA students of the Wake Forest University Katherine Anderson Society (KAS), will celebrate National Physician Assistant Week.
The first class of PAs graduated from Duke University in 1967. Physician assistants are licensed health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural and urban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, prescribe medications, and assist in surgery.
The KAS is the student society comprised of Wake Forest University Physician Assistant students. Community outreach activities planned for the current academic year include visiting local secondary schools to educate students on health awareness and the PA profession, community service opportunities at local YMCAs of Winston-Salem, sponsoring blood drives, and a golf tournament to benefit the Amos Cottage Therapeutic Day Program.
Throughout the 24-month program, PA students at Wake Forest University promote health literacy in the Latino community in numerous ways. This begins by taking a medical Spanish course during the first year of study. Students also spend time working in the Downtown Health Clinic in Winston-Salem and studying abroad in Latin American. Recently, several second year students have traveled abroad on four week clinical rotations in Guatemala, Nepal, and Mexico.
For more information about the Wake Forest University Physician Assistant program, visit www.wfubmc.edu/PAprogram. For more information about the PA profession, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants Web page at www.aapa.org.
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Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in primary care and 44th in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 35th in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.